Day Ten


See where your state weighs in.

See where your state weighs in.

I’ve lost 7 pounds in 10 days. It isn’t healthy. What’s interesting is that I am actually quite pleased. Before this project I had already started changing my eating habits and began exercising more in an effort to lose about twenty pounds. Although the motivation for this project has nothing to do with losing weight, monitoring it has become a daily ritual. Healthy weight loss is about 2 pounds a week; I’m far beyond that. I’m not fat, but I’m tired of my “average” body shape, and feel compelled to make sure that my lifestyle reflects my values. I want to live a long and healthy life, and I like the way I feel when I exercise. In addition, I also have certain ideas of what beauty is.


 While this project has become a way to have conversations about the 1 billion people who are living on a dollar a day or less, as well as to consider the many privileges we take for granted here in the United States, it also has made me start to think about issues related to body image.  

In an earlier post I wrote about a message we’re constantly given: EAT. In what makes for a great contradiction we’re also constantly told: THIN = BEAUTIFUL. In the United States alone we spend billions of dollars a year to work toward this end. Weight loss products, diet books, gym memberships, home fitness equipment, and pharmaceuticals are just a few of the ways we spend our money in order to “get in shape.” Yet we are one of the fattest nations on earth. We see images of thin people in magazines, on television, and in films that offer a constant reminder of what beautiful is. The result is that many of us are left feeling “fat” or “less than” in comparison.

My hope is that one day each of us will be able to look in the mirror and know we are beautiful because of who we are, not because of what we look like.  My hope is that we will exercise because it makes us feel good, not because we feel so bad.

It’s madness that while someone is dying RIGHT NOW from starvation, many others are dying from over-eating. Right now someone is at the gym trying to be The Biggest Loser, while somewhere else a young person is throwing up what they ate in order to feel thin. With food at the center of it all, it seems reasonable that maybe it’s time we start having an honest conversation about it. 



Daily Totals:

Breakfast: 1 Cup cooked oatmeal w/ 1 TSP margarine – $0.09 

Lunch:  2 Lunch: Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich (homemade bread, 2 TBSP Peanut Butter, 1 TBSP Jelly) – $0.36  popped popcorn – $0.07 (Kerri only)

Appetizer: 1 Slice of pizza – $0.08 (Christopher only)

Dinner: 1.5 Cups refried Beans – $0.21, 1.5 Cup Spanish Rice – $0.17 (Christopher only), Spaghetti – $0.45 (Kerri only)

Christopher Total: $0.91

Kerri Total: $0.97

Donation Total: $189


NOTE: If you think what we’re doing is interesting, inspiring, or just plain nutty, consider SPONSORING our efforts. Simply enter in an amount, click “update total” and follow the prompting. If you don’t have PayPal, it will let you use a credit card. At the end of the of the month all proceeds will go to the Community Resource Center (here in Encinitas, CA) and/or the ONE campaign. We will post evidence of donations at the end.



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10 responses to “Day Ten

  1. This is a fascinating experiment. I just found your site (referred through Cheap, Healthy, Good) today and am interested to follow you through your journey.

    One question – if your budget is $1/day and you don’t actually use the whole $1… can’t you carry it over. I mean that’s part of budgeting, right?

    So you could splurge on some fruit with the money you haven’t spent in the past 10 days?

  2. I think what you guys are doing is awesome and very interesting. I’m an Anthro grad student now (in addition to co-running a micro-sized family foundation and being a parent) and I will share your blog with my Anthropology of Food classmates.

    I didn’t know it was possible to eat anything for only $1 a day in this country. I think everyone should try it (without kids anyway). It really puts into perspective the over-abundance of un-nutritional food and a culture of fast food in the US and how it’s making us all fat and sick. It also puts in perspective the absolute desperation of a Billion people living in poverty who are trying to feed themselves and their kids on less than a buck a day.

    Thanks for doing this. 🙂 A

  3. Thank you for doing this! I will share your blog with my Anthropology of Food classmates. 🙂 A

  4. I switched to a veggie-centric eating style early this year. I eat a lot of beans & rice (yay!) but I buy a lot of produce, too. I haven’t calculated if it’s pricier than the way I used to eat or not. I’m kind of afraid to.

    Also, if you keep homemade bread (pre-sliced) in the freezer and pull it out as you need it, it doesn’t dry out so badly and keeps a heck of a lot longer. It does NOT keep well in the fridge!

    Hang tough!

  5. I am unsure how I stumbled upon this blog and this food challenge, but I want you to know you’re already making a very big difference in the way I think about my own daily rations.

    I’m just a single girl. Who eats a very healthy primarily organic raw vegetarian diet. Yet, since I discovered your site, I realize that my $$$ add up every day and I am unsure if I really could eat just $1 a day. I mean I know that I could, but it would mean giving up a lot of my very favorite daily things.

    I shared your website and story with a lot of my favorite farmers at the local farmers market today. I shop there regularly and as I was paying $3 for organic radishes and basil and contemplating how long I could stretch them out for this week, I thought of the two of you.

    I love what you said in this post, in particular, about one day being able to look in the mirror and know we are beautiful because of who we are, not because of how we look. That is one of the tenets of my blog. I’ve been writing about that very issue (as well as organics and saving the planet) for years.

    I am in awe of what you’re doing. You’re truly an inspiration.

  6. Fabulous project. I’m reading chronologically, and as far as I’ve read, really impressed. Maybe it will inspire others to do variations on the theme – I wonder if it’s possible to do a non-vegan version of this diet? I’m sure many of the food options would be pretty disturbing. I hope you get the media attention you richly deserve.

    Re: the obesity map, I’m sure you’re aware of this already, but the link between poverty and obesity is very strong in America. It would be interesting to put a poverty map side-by-side with the obesity map, above.

  7. Your post spoke to me. I am overweight and struggle everyday to remind myself that I am beautiful; that just because I am overweight that does not define who I am as a person.

    It is the constant struggle that a lot of people face. The reality of life can be difficult and food is all around us, beckoning us to find comfort in the Ben and Jerrys Cherry Garcia or the ridiculously oversized Chipotle Burrito. Trust me, I have fallen victim a time or two to the call of Chipotle.

    This blog is a great way to open up a dialogue about the sundry ways people use food to fill other needs.



  8. Christy

    Ooh, I like your point, there, Gabbi, about food filling other needs.
    Also the above one by Elizabeth Twist about the obesity map next to the poverty map. I was noting as I looked over it that some of the most obese states are the ones that are probably (would need to do research on this) the most poverty-stricken. Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, West Virginia…
    However I have to give a victorious whoop for Montana, my own state.

  9. Perhaps your seven pounds of weight loss had more to do with the food weight which was in your body and not fat. When I went on the Adkins diet, I loss the same right at first, then it slowed down.

  10. Karen

    All I can say is “Amen!” Your post was beautifully put.

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